Monday, February 14, 2011

meditations on a sleepless morn, part II

continued from part I, wherein andrew compares not sleeping to digestion 

rinse lather repeat.

this is the magic formula i find myself chanting at daybreak. i'm saying the words earnestly, as if they mean something, as if there is a power to their rhythm. i speak them into my pillow, mouthing the words with silent urgency, believing hopelessly that when said in succession, they possess certain hitherto unknown sleep-inducing properties.

rinse lather repeat, i say, rinse lather repeat.

these words are my deathbed confession. no, they are my whispered communique in that first scene where friends and family cup their hands to my mouth and lean in to drink the honeycomb words of a dying old man, but from our sticky seats in the cineplex, we can see that there is more to those empty puffs than epilogue and benediction. we can see the beads of sweat on the old man's brow, the sudden dilation of the eye. and we know that a clue has been lost, that the dying man intends to convey some truth to break the spell of a tragedy that is now sure to continue. we know that people may die and that the protagonist will require at least an hour to sort things out and save the world. 

don't you think one of us should have pity and tell the protagonist? we could slip into that secret room with the film canisters and projectors and spare him the agony of lost love ones, lost time, and lost sleep. the old man says, rinse lather repeat, we'd tell him, rinse lather repeat.

but god is in the theater. perhaps he wrote the script. and so i'm praying that he knows the words, that he can take my cosmetic cosmology, my nonsense phraseology, and spin the story just right. he can transform my desperate compunction to say these words into a sort of worship. and then, in his great mercy, he can bring down the curtain and i can get some sleep.

rinse lather repeat, and make it soon, lord jesus.

to be continued . . .